Big Head Press


L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 597, November 28, 2010

"If you want to be free, you must grant that freedom to others"


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Still Crazy After All These Years—With Thanks to Paul Simon
by Cathy L.Z. Smith
cathylz@netzero.com

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Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Without waiting for their evil legislation to become law, the US Government, the only entity less likely to get it right than those who have no respect for intellectual property rights, has embarked on a move to seize the Internet under the auspices of preventing copyright infringement. Never mind that an equally likely (and potentially much more troubling) target is Wikileaks. What? You'd think we were still living under the thumb of What's-his-name Bush!

Fueled and financed by their supporters in show biz, the "Hope and Change" administration has proved capable of neither—attempting to dash whatever hope remains in America for freedom while at the same time illegally extending their grasp beyond the borders of the US and out into the larger world. It seems the only change we're to see from this administration is the "D" behind their names.

Before we can do anything to fix this there must be recognition on all sides that "Evil Imperialists R" and "Evil Imperialists D" are, in fact, one and the same and that the importance lies in the continuation of the evil empire and not in the particular and current flavor of the evil.

Newly-elected Tea Party types, are you paying attention?

It would be slightly humorous, if it weren't a matter of life and death, to sit back and listen to those who believe with all their hearts (independent of the functioning of their minds) that there is no valid basis for intellectual property rights, howling that their "taking" is somehow different from the actions now being taken against them. They are, in fact, precisely the same evil activity. What is a domain name if not intellectual property? But there's little reason to wonder why the victims of this action are unable to see the similarity, having been brought up in and indoctrinated by a culture that insists theft by majority is acceptable.

The United States Government, and all of those who make it up from the janitor at the Smithsonian to the Collectivist-in-Chief himself must be put in their place by the people of this country. They have done inestimable damage to the concept of liberty, Americans' financial well-being, and the future of the planet—infinitely more than Iraq, Iran, China, Russia, and all of "their" other once-and-future enemies combined, and they show no signs of stopping.

If you want to be free, you must grant that freedom to others—there is no other way—for the first step you take to limit the freedom of one person is the path we find ourselves on even now. So what do we do? We must find a way to shut the government down to the extent that it once again (or perhaps for the first time) becomes the tightly-controlled servant rather than, as it clearly wishes to be, the terrible master. Lest you think these measures too harsh, bear in mind that people who choose to hold political office are declaring themselves fit to run not only their own lives, but the lives of countless others, and on those grounds if no other they must be held to the highest possible standards. Here are a few of my ideas:

1. No bill shall be passed by any legislative body until the full text of that bill (not excerpted) has been read aloud to the entire assembly (with not one single member absent) no fewer than three times and with all readings televised on CSPAN. Each such reading shall commence with a roll-call confirmation of full attendance. At least five business days must separate each reading to allow constituents an opportunity to communicate with their representatives. Any amendment offered shall be deemed to "reset" the process, and require the reading to begin anew. Any legislator who can be proven to have voted on a bill without sitting through the three full readings shall be subject to immediate dismissal from office with no future chance to hold office at any level. Any falsification of the attendance records shall be grounds for criminal prosecution.

2. Any bill that is passed and later held by the court to be unconstitutional shall result in immediate cessation of prosecution under said law, immediate reversion of the law, and dismissal of any legislator who sponsored, voted for, or otherwise supported its passage. Any lobbyist who can be shown to have positively influenced its passage shall be barred from future lobbying activities and from holding office.

3. Lying shall be grounds for immediate dismissal from office with no future opportunity to hold office at any level. Civil and/or criminal prosecution may be appropriate.

4. Any successful vote in favor of military activity (including domestic activity) shall result in the immediate enlistment of all supporting legislators to be shipped out with the first troops to the front lines. Any legislator too infirm to serve shall be prohibited from voting on a declaration of war.

5. No incumbent elected official may actively campaign for reelection for the same office he or she currently holds. No reelection war chests will be permitted. All incumbents must run solely on the basis of their record and at their constituents' pleasure.

6. Any incumbent whose name appears on an election ballot must be identified as such.

7. It is a blatant conflict of interest for lawyers to be engaged in the passage of laws. On those grounds no lawyer may hold office without surrendering his license and upon leaving legislative service will be barred from practice for a minimum of 20 years.

8. No corporation may contribute in any way to any political campaign. Any corporation found to have engaged in bribery (including the offer of employment or property to a candidate or any member of his family) shall have its charter immediately revoked and its assets distributed to its stockholders.

9. Any and all corporations chartered (as they must be) by government entities shall henceforward be considered to be government bodies, and shall be subject to all of the same limitations set forth in the Bill of Rights. Any corporation that can be proven to have acted to evade or avoid such limitations shall have its charter immediately revoked and its assets distributed to its stockholders.

10. Any office holder at any level of government who violates or conspires to violate the limitations set out by the Bill of Rights shall be immediately dismissed from office with no future opportunity to hold public office and may face civil or criminal prosecution.

11. Any sitting politician must put any and all assets in trust during his tenure and must live on whatever salary he makes as a legislator. Further, the Congressional pension must be immediately revoked and the balance (if any) of that fund must be applied to outstanding US debt.

12. Congress may not set its pay scale or vote itself raises. Congressional salaries should reflect the mid-range salaries of that legislator's home constituents who are not employed in government service.

13. No politician may, upon leaving legislative service, be employed by any corporation demonstrated to have benefited from his or her actions for a period of no less than 20 years.

14. All currently seated office holders and all future office holders must travel by the same methods as those available to their private sector constituents, and must endure any and all "security measures" deemed appropriate and applied to their private sector constituents.

15. Any person elected to office or currently holding office must be required to take a rigorous course in Constitutional law taught by a scholar chosen by his or her constituency. Failure to take the course, or failure to pass the course with a grade lower than "A" shall result in immediate dismissal from office.

16. There must be full disclosure of all support to any political campaign, but additionally any publicity purchased by a candidate must explicitly identify by name the individual who has made the largest single contribution to his or her campaign at that point in time.

So, Jay Rockefeller, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Barack Hussein Obama, and the rest of you and your Orcish minions—supporters of this latest act of theft (along with countless others)—please rest assured that you're on my "holding politicians responsible list".

Now there's a change I can believe in.


The author recognizes her indebtedness to L. Neil Smith, among others, whose writing and conversation have provided the basis for many of these proposals.


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